For a few years now, we’ve been hearing “4K’s overkill. You can’t tell the difference over 1080p!”. Lately, we’ve been hearing the same about 8K over both 4K and 1080p. But can you really tell the difference between 8K and 1080p?
That’s the topic Matti Haapoja explores in this video, which begins with a sequence shot using a mix of 1080p and 8K footage shot on the Canon EOS R5 – without labels on anything. Can you see the difference between them?
Matti watched the final edited video himself on multiple screens including a 3K 16″ MacBook Pro, a 32″ Apple 6K XDR monitor and the 4K LG CX 65″ OLED TV. And he said that he could tell the difference between certain clips, and which were higher and which were lower resolution. Of course, he does have the benefit of knowing which is which already, given that he edited it.
But I watched the clips above, too in both 1080p resolution on an HP LP2475w IPS monitor and on a 4K 48″ LG TV and, well, I could definitely see differences in the detail there, too. Some of the differences were actually quite obvious, and later on in the video, when Matti reveals what resolution each fo the clips was shot in, the reason why some were more noticeable than others becomes obvious.
Plot twist. This video isn’t just an 8K vs 1080p comparison. Matti also mixed in some 720p footage shot by the Canon EOS R as well as 4K footage to see how each of them stood up to the other resolutions, and whether 4K resolution leaned more towards 8K or 1080p in terms of absolute detail. What I found most interesting was that there seemed to be a greater difference between 8K and 4K than there was between 4K and 1080p. Although, Matti admits that the 4K footage he shot wasn’t necessarily at the highest quality setting.
If you’re watching on a tiny little smartphone, then chances are they’ll all look pretty much the same. But if you’re sitting back in your living room watching on the big screen… Well, do you see the difference in the footage? Were your guesses correct when the big reveal came?